Finding the Right Day Care {Child Care Series}

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Here at Houston Moms Blog, we get asked A LOT of questions.  Where can I get great baby gear for cheap?  {Kid to Kid}  What workout programs do you recommend in the Houston area?  {Baby Boot Camp}  Who makes the best margarita in Houston?  {The jury is still out on that one.}  But the number one question we get asked is…  What type of child care do you suggest, and do you have any recommendations?

Wow.  What a simple question with such a big answer.  We know that just like each child is different – so is their need for child care.  Some children thrive in large group settings like public day care while others do better in a one-to-one setting with a private nanny.  Some need full time child care five days a week while others just need occasional drop in care once a month or so while mom and dad sneak in a date night.  No matter what your child care needs are, we hope that this week long series will help shed some light on the various options available and also provide you with some tips and tricks for finding the perfect place for you and your family’s child care needs.

First up…day care!

Finding the Right Day Care{Click image above for more posts within the series.}

I never anticipated how stressful it would be for me to choose a day care for my daughter.  Obviously, no one can care for my baby like I can, so I worried whether she’d receive as much attention as I would give her.  And since Skeeter came home from the NICU, I was very concerned about her receiving feedings right on schedule so she’d continue to gain weight and grow.  And of course, I wanted the people caring for her to love her like I do.

After some major research, I landed on our day care.  And I could not be any happier with my choice.  Skeeter’s teachers dote on her, play with her, and teach her far more than I ever expected.  She thrives there and is excited to go see her friends during the day.  When she comes home, she blows us away with everything she’s learned.

Here are my tips for choosing a daycare ::

  1. References.  This is the best place to start with any major decision.  Ask your friends, family, and coworkers where their children go to daycare.  There are also various location specific mommy groups on Facebook.  Get looped in to one of these.  If their kids have been at the same day care for a long period of time, that’s a very good sign.
  2. Research.  Check online reviews of the day care, if there are any.  You can also check with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  If the day care has received any violations from the state, they’ll be listed online.  Want to know the child care providers we have partnered with?  Check out our Schools & Camps page.
  3. Visit.  Arrange for a walk through of the day care facilities.  I intentionally showed up unannounced to the facilities I toured.  It sounds paranoid, but I wanted to make sure they weren’t putting on a show for me.  I never had a facility turn me away when I showed up unannounced.

On these visits, I showed up with a list of questions that were important to me – What’s the teacher to child ratio?  Can I visit anytime?  Are there cameras so I can see my daughter from work?  Are meals provided?  I also observed how the caregivers interacted with each other and the babies.  I took note of whether the director personally knew all of the children.  The day care we chose gave me more than I’d anticipated from a day care – a Christian environment and a wonderful educational experience.

In reality, my child spends more waking hours during the week with her day care teachers than she does with me and my husband.  So it’s extremely important to me that she loves who she spends her days with.  I need to know that she’s learning and thriving in her environment – and all of these things make me very happy with our day care.

Moms – chime in!  What did you look for in a day care?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great post! For me making sure the facility was secure. I wanted to make sure that no one could just walk into the building. At The Learning Experience in Humble made us feel comfortable. Parents use a chip to enter into the lobby and use a chip again to enter into the rest of the school!

  2. Great ideas for questions to ask when looking for daycares! My daughter is at TLE in Humble and she loves it there, as do her father and I! They are secure and clean. I would recommend to anyone looking for a caring environment for their child to learn and grow!

  3. I love your advice about arranging for a walkthrough of the daycare facilities. Finding the right care service for your child is important to their early development and cognitive growth. My sister is looking for a daycare for her son, so I’ll be sure to help her locate the best service in her respective area.

  4. I barely have the time to take care of my child due to my busy schedule. That’s why I’m considering leaving her under the care of a trusted daycare center. I’m glad you shared this; I’ll make sure to show up in the prospective facility unannounced, just so I’ll be ensured that they’re running everything perfectly.

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